Country Report on Terrorism 2012 - Chapter 2 - Italy

Overview: Italy aggressively investigated and prosecuted terrorist suspects, dismantled terrorist-related cells within its borders, and maintained high-level professional cooperation with international partners in all areas. Terrorist activity by domestic anarchists and other violent extremists remained a threat.

2012 Terrorist Incidents:

• On January 16, three explosive devices exploded outside the Naples office of the national tax agency. No information was available about the attackers.

• On May 7, two men shot and wounded Roberto Adinolfi, chief executive officer of a nuclear engineering company, Ansaldo, in Genoa. The Informal Anarchist Federation claimed responsibility for the attack on May 11. On September 13, police arrested two members of the group accused of being the attackers.

• On May 12, two Molotov cocktails were thrown against the entrance of the Livorno office of the national tax agency. On July 10, Livorno prosecutors announced that nine anarchists were under investigation for the episode.

• On August 30, three broadcasting repeaters were set afire near Parma by a group of anarchists who demanded the release from a Swiss prison of a Swiss environmentalist arrested in Italy in 1991.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: The Italian government continued to make use of reinforced counterterrorism legislation enacted in 2005 that facilitates detention of suspects, mandates arrest for crimes involving terrorism, and expedites procedures for expelling persons suspected of terrorist activities.

The Italian Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and Ministry of Interior continued improvements to aviation security. In May, the CAA and the Transportation Security Administration signed an Annex to a Memorandum of Cooperation setting the framework for future collaboration. The CAA purchased additional Advanced Image Technology units (otherwise known as body scanners) for use at the Rome and Milan international airports.

Law enforcement actions included:

• On February 6, former Guantanamo detainee Riadh Ben Mohamed Nasri was cleared of charges of international terrorism by a Milan appeals court. Nasri, who was detained for eight years at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and was subsequently confined for two years and two months in an Italian jail, had been accused of supporting a terrorist group that recruited volunteers who had joined insurgents abroad between 1997 and 2001. In January 2011, an Italian court had sentenced Nasri to six years of imprisonment.

• On February 21, police arrested nine alleged members of Turkish Hizballah (unrelated to the similarly-named Hizballah that operates in Lebanon) who were accused of abetting illegal immigration and assisting fake asylum seekers in Terni.

• On March 15, authorities arrested Mohamed Jarmoune, a Moroccan national who had lived in Italy for 16 years, on suspicion of providing online training in arms and explosives to supporters in Brescia and planning a violent attack against a synagogue in Milan.

• On March 27, Venice prosecutors ordered the arrest of five members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) accused of extortion. They allegedly had forced several Turkish nationals to regularly pay up to US $6,783 as contribution for the operations of the PKK.

• On June 13, police arrested eight members of the Informal Anarchist Federation (IAF), a network that claimed responsibility for letter bombs sent to: the director of a center for migrants in Gradisca d’Isonzo; Bocconi University in Milan; a Deutsche Bank office in Frankfurt; an office of the national tax agency in Rome; and the Greek ambassador in Paris. The group reportedly cooperated with the Swiss and Spanish anarchists, Marco Camenisch and Gabriel Pombo de Silva.

• On September 11, the Cassation Court confirmed the May 24 ruling of a Milan appeals court that had sentenced11 members of the Red Brigades to prison terms between 14 months and 11 years and six months for two attacks against offices of political parties and for a conspiracy against a senator and a senior labor expert. Another defendant was acquitted.

• On September 13, Genoa police arrested Nicola Gai and Alfredo Cospito, members of IAF, accused of the May 7 terrorist attack against Roberto Adinolfi.

• On September 25, the Ministry of Interior announced the arrest and expulsion of two Libyans suspected of violent extremist proselytism and planning a violent attack. The two were injured during the conflict in Libya and had traveled to Rome for medical treatment.

• On October 4, Italy extradited an al-Qa’ida (AQ) member to the United States who is charged with conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals, conspiracy to bomb a government facility, conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, and use of firearms and explosives. He travelled from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan in 2001, where he attended AQ training camps and later fought in tribal areas of Pakistan against U.S. and Coalition Forces.

Countering Terrorist Finance: Italy worked closely with the United States on anti-money laundering and information sharing, and cooperated with other foreign governments as an active member of the Financial Action Task Force and the Egmont Group. Italy also participated in the UNSCR 1267/1989 and 1988 designation process, both as a sponsoring and co-sponsoring nation. As of October, the Italian Guardia di Finanza and Anti-Mafia Investigative Unit had carried out more than 500 money-laundering investigations and seized more than 120 million euros (US $162,800,000) in laundered money. In 2012, the Italian Treasury’s Financial Information Unit upgraded its technology resources and training it provides to financial entities to improve the rate and quality of suspicious transaction reports. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes:

Regional and International Cooperation: Italy is a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum. Italy also supported counterterrorism efforts through the G-8 Roma-Lyon Group (including capacity building through the Counterterrorism Action Group), the OSCE, NATO, the UN, and the EU.

Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism The Ministry of Justice Penitentiary Police continued financing an NGO-administered counter-radicalization program to place imams in the three prisons where Muslims convicted of terrorism were incarcerated. To counter potential radicalization, the Ministry of Interior conducted training in September for more than 1,000 law enforcement officers in Milan, Turin, and Venice on how to engage more effectively with immigrant communities.